The best time of the year has finally arrived: basketball season! School spirit, fast-paced competition and a Stags Hospitality hot dog … I can’t picture myself attaining such joy from anything else. 

My love for our brand-new Leo D. Mahoney arena is no secret. With its grand opening nearing its one-year unveiling anniversary, it has not only heightened my love for student-athlete support but has also instilled a surprising interest in a sport I never gave much thought to before. 

Now that both Fairfield University men’s and women’s teams are kicking off the 2023-2024 season with their first game on Monday, Nov. 6, I’m sure you can understand how quickly my excitement and smile are growing. 

Last February, I explained everything you need to know about the games, from ticketing and where to sit to what to order at the snack stands. What may be the most important part of each game, however, is getting ready for it.

Drown Yourself in Stag Spirit

I purposefully bought red cargo pants from H&M, which I refer to as my “Red Sea” pants, and it was one of the best fashion decisions I’ve made. I suggest you add a staple Fairfield accessory to your closet too, as I personally feel it’s a vital rite of passage of being a Stag. If you don’t have a statement piece, however, a simple red Fairfield shirt will do. 

You can buy university gear in our Stag Spirit Shop on or off campus at the Post Road bookstore. After you go to your first game wearing red, however, you can also enter the arena’s team store to buy basketball-specific or Red Sea Madness merchandise.

Host a Pre-Game Gathering

With seven roommates, I can say with confidence that building the anticipation for the game an hour or two before it starts is one of the fun parts of being in college. Packed in our living room and wearing all red, you can blast some hype music to manifest a “W” or make posters for friends or classmates who are on the court.

You can also have some fun painting your body with red paint or decorating yourself with other accessories like beads, stickers, foam fingers and more.

Travel Light

Tickets go on sale 24 hours before each game. Once you sign up, you will receive an email with a QR code of your claimed seat. I suggest adding this to your Apple wallet if you have an iPhone, as it pops up on your home screen a few hours before tip-off. With this convenient routine, you can quickly pull up your ticket at the door and enter the arena with ease without holding up the herd of attendees. 

While outside bags are no longer prohibited from the arena, they are still checked when you enter the game—so be smart about what you carry in as there is a list of what you may or may not bring. These items, of course, exclude the rally towels or pom poms because you should definitely bring those. 

Make sure to secure your free student tickets on Sunday, Nov. 12 to cheer on your fellow student-athletes and university at the next home game. If that doesn’t tempt you, then surely seeing me house a hotdog and yelling at the referee will put some pep in your step. See you there!

About The Author

-- Senior I Executive Editor I English Creative Writing & Digital Journalism --

Brooke is a senior English Creative Writing and Digital Journalism major, with minors in Film, Television & Media and Editing & Publishing. She plans to pursue a career in screenwriting after graduation.

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